I know what you’re thinking. If the FA Cup Final is to be contested between Stoke City and Swansea City, what happened to the big boys?
Well, I’m here to let you know.
The Premier League winners were Arsenal, who finished the season 13 points ahead of second-placed Liverpool. As discussed yesterday, the Gunners fell to Stoke City themselves in the sixth round as they were basically out-muscled by Stoke, two goals from corners from two defenders with Lacazette’s penalty the only reply they could muster. Arsenal had eliminated Watford, Manchester United and Nottingham Forest without conceding a goal before meeting Stoke.
Liverpool considered themselves unlucky to have drawn Tottenham Hotspur in the third round, the first they contested. They survived to make it through thanks to goals from Joe Gomez and Daniel Sturridge, despite Jon Flanagan being sent off. If Liverpool were unlucky to have drawn Spurs, they must have had some sort of hex to get Chelsea in the fourth round. Even at Anfield, Chelsea prevailed to end Liverpool’s FA Cup hopes.
The first of the big teams to have to contend with a replay was Manchester United as they draw 0 – 0 with Leeds United at Old Trafford in the third round before narrowly defeating them at Elland Road by one goal scored by Jesse Lingard. Like Liverpool, United got a big team in the fourth round – Arsenal – and paid the price.
It was fairly easy for Chelsea in the third round, they saw off Exeter City before stepping up their game to eliminate Liverpool in the fourth round. Chelsea’s journey came to an end away at The Weston Homes Community Stadium, going down 3 – 2 to Colchester United from League Two in one of the shocks of this season’s FA Cup competition.
Manchester City’s early FA Cup rounds were routine as they dumped out Coventry City at the Etihad, before heading to record a 1 – 0 victory over Ipswich Town at Portman Road. They were drawn against Newcastle United in the fifth round and slumped to a disappointing 3 – 0 defeat, which may have had an impact on the fortunes of the two managers as Pep Guardiola was sacked by City and Rafa Benitez was hired by Borussia Dortmund.
Only playing one FA Cup game was Tottenham Hotspur, who had a disappointing season all round as their FA Cup challenge ended way back in the third round to Liverpool at Anfield.
If your team is not one of the big boys and also didn’t make it to the FA Cup Final, get in touch on twitter either at @FMDaily_ or @CharlieTangoFM and I’ll give you their FA Cup games this season.